In a major win for Indian drug companies which manufacture generic drugs for major ailments, the India’s Intellectual Property Appellate Board revoked Swiss giant Roche’s patent for a hepatitis C drugs. This means that the patent that could have prevented the Indian companies from copying this formula have a free hand.
The “Patients Advocacy Groups” are ecstatic, for they can get cheaper drugs:
“If we get the manufacture of lower-costing generic drugs, millions suffering from hepatitis C — both in India and globally — will benefit,” said patients’ rights lawyer Anand Grover. “This is a big win for hepatitis C patients,” Grover told AFP
The Appellate Board actually overturned the patent granted to Roche by Indian Patent Office earlier. The reason was that the company failed to prove that this was a “new class of drug”.
It seems the multinationals are having it very tough in this large $12 billion Indian market.
Earlier this year, the same board allowed a local firm to produce a vastly cheaper copy of Bayer’s patented drug Nexavar for liver and kidney cancer, saying the $5,300 price charged by the German company was “exorbitant.”